Reprinted from Real Kung-Fu, October 1974
hroughout the history of China, time has given rise to diversified Sects of Kung Fu, among them, Tai Chai (Great Ultimate), Baro Kwar (Eight Trigram), Yin Yee Kuen (Form of Intention) Choi Lee Fat (Choi, Lee, & Buddha), Hung Kuen (Hung family), Yuk Mun Pai (Jade Gate Style), Mo Don (Wudang), Lung Ying (Dragon Shape), Wing Chun Pal (Wing-Chun’s style), etc. To be truthful of the readers, it is necessary to say that among these, some are very ancient. They were invented by the country folks of the primitive age. These people had no knowledge of the basic principles of mathematics, dynamics, biophysics and anatomy. So naturally the Kung Fu Systems they derived have irrational move ments and are contrary to logic. Very few Kung Fu Schools have integrated the laws of nature into their Systems of Kung Fu.
One which has is the Wing Chun School of Kung Fu, a system whose principles are all in compliance with the laws of nature and whose movements are unique.
This system was disclosed to a country girl named Yim Wing Chun by a Shaolin nun called Ng Mui.
For over two centuries, her tactics were kepts to only a couple until 1952, when Yip Man diaulged the system to the public in Hong Kong. In the last few years, a second form of Wing Chun appeared in Hong Kong and is called Yuen Kei San Wing Chun. These are the two sources of Wing Chun, the most scientific system of Kung Fu. It is known to the Kung Fu world as the speediest, most lethal and practical form of combat. But because of these factors, the movements do not look spectacular nor do they possess the gracefulness that other systems have, and few people really master this system to a high degree.
There are two famous fighters from Yip Man Wing Chun: William Cheung Chuk Hing, now in Melbourne, Australia, and Wong Sheung Leung, now in Hong Kong. The late movie star Bruce Lee first learned from his friend Bill Cheung who, on leaving Hong Kong fo further study in Australia, took Bruce Lee to his instructor Yip Man. Yip Man pretended to teach Bruce but was actually reluctant to do so. The reason was that Yip Man was a conservative Chinese. He kept to the rule that he not teach non-Chinese, and Bruce Lee was not a pure blooded Chinese, but a Eurasian. So Bill Cheung then took Bruce Lee to his fellow student Wong Sheung Leung and Bruce continued learning from Wong. The principles with which Bruce so fascinated many Kung Fu prectitioners are but only elementary principles of the Wing Chung School.
The system introduced in this edition is Yuen Kei San Wing Chung. Yip Man and Yuen Kei San were friends back in their native districts called Fat San Kwang Tung province. Yuen Kei San learned first from a Wing Chun follower named Hei Bo Chuen who later introduced Yuen to Fung Siu Ching a fellow student of Yip Man [webmasters note: they mean Hei Bo Chuen]. After attaining a high level in the art. Yip [webmasters note: they mean Yuen] never took a student until his old age. Finally, he took only one student named Sum Nan who later instructed Wing Chun in Canton gumnasiums. At present he has three followers teaching in Hong Kong.
The training schedule commences with a set of movements called Siu Leen Tau (Little First Training). This helps a novice to achieve stability of stance and arm actions alon the proper track which is the central plane of one’s body, termed Sze Ng Sin (Meridian Line). It runs along a path extending from one’s nose through the chest to the navel. The stace is called Yee Sze Kim Yeung Ma (“Yee” Character Pinching Yang Stance), who is no wider than one’s shoulder width. The toes point centrally with the knees slightly bent, while one’s back remains upright. The elbows are fixed along a central track in the front of the body.
The second stage in the schedule is to practice two other sets called Chun Kiu (Sinking Bridge) and Biu Chi (Darting Fingers). These teach one the techniques of offense and defense. Chum Ku trains one’s footwork to advance, to retreat and to shift. Also it enhances short-range attacks with unique kicking techiques. There are also supplementary sets of exercises, namely: Sup Yee Sam Sau (Twelve Separate Techniques), Sun Hay Kwai Yuen (Kidney Breathing Returns to Source). Fai Sze Kung (Chop Stick Work), and Tun Huen Sau (Rattan Circle Arms).
The use of weapons required a schedule of Luk Dim Bune Kwan (Six and a Half Point Pole) for the long weapons, and Dur Men Dao (Life Taking Knives) for the short weapons. Another supplementary exercise is the One Hundred and Fifty Five movements in battering a wooden dummy. Arms are practiced by Darn Luk Sau (Single Rolling Arm), Sum Luk Sau (Double Rolling Arms), Darn Chi Sau (Single Sticking Arm) and Sum Chi Sau (Double Sticking Arms). These exercises take two to practice as in the sparring of Western boxing.
Yuen Kei San Wing Chun has three instructors in Hong Kong. They are Leung Tai Chiu, Kwok Wan Ping, and Lee Chi Yiu.